Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Between the 31st of August and the 22nd of September 2016 Mercury will retrograde in Virgo. With an attitude of openness and flexibility we may truly and meaningfully benefit from such periodic reflective phases, though they might appear to bring mere delays and diversion.

Virgo teaches us the numinosity of service, and Mercury (the traditional planetary ruler of Virgo) represents our powers of perception. There are many demands upon us in this modern world ~ family, work and social life. Of course it is important to ensure we allow adequate time for Self ~ nourishment of body, mind and soul. However, we might also find replenishment of spirit by broadening our view of contribution, reframing our perspective to source strength and inspiration from the ways in which we serve others.

My own experience as a stay at home mum has been challenging at times as the relentless demands of housewifery/ Cherub Management are many, monotonous and sometimes seem meaningless. With a shift in perspective, learning the Latin origin of the word sacrifice ~ to make sacred ~ I have found a way to view mundane life as grist for the mill of my personal growth and come to truly value my role as wife* and mother.

Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo
Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo

My own evolution has occurred as a direct result of this Yin (inward) phase of my life. Had I remained in the Yang (outward) world of career and social orientation I’d have not enjoyed this expansion of my inner life and may never have understood the depth and significance of the sacred feminine. I have come to find joy and satisfaction in embracing and consciously cultivating my feminine~Mother responsibilities of protector, initiator, nurturer, empowerer.

Of course, in considering all the options available we remember that low-road Virgo is hyper-critical, pedantic with myriad OCD-tendencies. This Mercury retrograde holds the potential for these few weeks to degenerate into a period of irritable nit-picking, and frustrated attempts to get things done and court that unattainable mistress Perfection.

We can make excellent use of this time and energy by reconsidering our methods, habits, practices, patterns, paying homage to the devil in the details, crossing T’s and dotting lower case j’s, without becoming excessively harsh in our appraisals of self and others.

Too, Mercury’s retrograde will retrace the steps taken by Jupiter since October 2015. The cosmos now offers messages of Divine import that consolidate the benefits and healing brought about by Jupiter’s journey through Virgo. We can now come to understand the deeper meaning of this phase of the 12-year Jupiterian cycle. The Lunar North Node remains in Virgo (until May 2017), thus continuing to build upon the vision (re)imagined under Jupiter’s optimistic influence.

And when Mercury follows Jupiter into Libra on the 8th of October we will be emboldened by this retrograde phase and its offerings as we go forth ever-expansive, evolving, co-creative custodians of this magical earthly home.

*not technically married, but in a solid relationship for almost 16 years.

Mars & Saturn in Sagittarius

Warrior planet Mars conjoined with Saturn this week to add a little verve to our Sagittarius truth-finding mission. As we sharpen our focus and come to clarity in our personal belief systems we are strengthening the foundations upon which we build our future.

High-road Mars energy allows us to access our courage, to act righteously and with restraint, while low-road Mars sees us shooting off at the mouth in offensive bursts of rage and frustration. High-road Saturn supports us in our cultivation of wisdom as we meet our earthly obligations and take responsibility for this gift that is our life. Low-road Saturn keeps us duty-bound, perpetually towing the line and selling ourselves short #allworkandnoplay

This week’s Mars~Saturn fusion in Sagittarius has finally crystallised in its meaning for me. It was worth the wait to feel this emerge from within~without

The courage of our convictions! Can we live in alignment with our own truth as it emerges? Are we brave enough to persist on this lonely Saturnian path despite all the naysayers and discouragement? Will we blaze this trail with humility, grace and good humour? I, for one, will try.

As always, it is a matter of free will. Where we allow the energy to flow is what we allow to grow, in our consciousness and in our lives (as outer manifestation of our inner consciousness) thus if the Mars~Saturn conjunction is expressed stressfully we will experience challenging limitation and imposed resistance. Where we are able to surrender to this blockage and adapt to it we grow and strengthen, but if we resist resistance we will suffer.

April 2018 will see the next Mars~Saturn conjunction (in Capricorn) when we will begin to reap what we sow now, with the courage of Mars and the wisdom and patience of Saturn.

The exact conjunction occurred at 9° Sagittarius, setting the tone for this new Mars~Saturn cycle is the Sabian Symbol a golden haired goddess of opportunity and its meaning (as interpreted by Diana E. Roche) reads:

“This symbol speaks to the rewards guaranteed to the individual who is independent, self-reliant and willing to work hard for what he wants. The image of a golden-haired goddess of opportunity alludes to the the individual who follows his own dreams, creates his own good fortune, and refuses to prejudge a situation or accept anything at face value… Implicit in this symbol is the principle that every organism possesses the secret of its own survival, and that self-knowledge is the ultimate key to success. Be willing to continue in a course you know is right for you, even if you have to go it alone. Don’t lose enthusiasm or abandon your goals just because you aren’t continually receiving a pat on the back.” p.284 (1998)

DSCF0327

May we each be blessed with the bravery of Mars and the determination of Saturn in pursuit of our Sagittarian quest for meaning.

Let us journey on friends ♥

Aquarius Full Moon (hero vs villain)

2006_0613karlsphotography0097_editedThursday the 18th of August 2016 (5.30pm AWST) sees our annual Aquarius Full Moon reach its peak. Aquarius is the archetypal genius~rebel~ outlaw ~revolutionary~ exile ~mad scientist with a high road that leads to innovative reform for the collective good, guided by altruistic  concepts supportive of communities into the future.

Aquarius is the idealistic visionary, without which our humankind would perhaps die of boredom and predictability. Aquarius however is a fixed sign, so despite its urge to break rules and push boundaries there can be a deep-seated and sometimes unconscious adherence to it’s own agenda. In other words, Aquarius can be as dogmatic as it’s traditional ruler Saturn, stuck fast to rigid opinions and abstract perspectives that may be accurate but lack flexibility, empathy and feeling.

Aquarius says “I know”

We can see this Full Moon manifesting in the Rio Olympics: Bolt the Leo Hero vs Gatlin the Aquarian Outlaw. First, my disclaimer: I know nothing of sport or doping in sport and my comments come from a purely emotional and intuitive place within me.

Usain Bolt: Hero of the People versus Justin Gatlin: Villain.

I was stunned by the crowd’s booing this competitor. Granted, I know nothing of his record, prior convictions and past behaviours except what commentators said in the lead up to the Olympic 100m sprint final. My emotive defence of the underdog probably won’t hold up to scrutiny in terms of logic and facts, I concede this.

But I presume that Gatlin must’ve been tested rigorously in order to qualify? And given this, he must surely be afforded the right to redeem himself.

We all make mistakes.

Especially when we are young.

I feel such compassion for those who endure the consequences of their actions in the full view of the unforgiving public. This egoic urge to condemn others for their mistakes, follies and human foibles speaks volumes about the nature of our current planetary predicament. Can we not recall the simple biblical teachings… let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone…

#JudgeNotLestYeBeJudged

So, despite my bored and dismissive response to sport in general, I felt joy in the result of the race. And this morning I happened to catch the medal ceremony and I was filled with pride and brimming with tears as these two young men took to the podium. Their determination lights the way for troubled young men people who might witness these feats and so aspire to great things.

And while I wish not to detract anything from Usain Bolt, for he is truly a hero (and my brief perusal of his natal chart indicates to me that he is blazing a bright and courageous trail towards his Aries North Node with total Leonine grace and natural performance) and deserves to be celebrated, I’d like also to honour Justin Gatlin for his bravery in returning to the arena despite the boos and hisses of fools who’ve not understood their own human frailty.

His willingness to show up, push boundaries and prove himself demonstrates courage for its vulnerability and I hope that he receives much support and celebration too. He teaches that even though we make mistakes there is room to hope, for redemption, dignity, forgiveness and even pride.

#rantover

The Aquarius Full Moon is in close harmonious aspect to planetary ruler Uranus the Awakener. This is a restless and excitable moon with potential for unexpected and radical developments. We stand to gain from sudden flashes of insight and the emergence of surprising and inspiring new ideas. As always, we are better off allowing the energy to flow and to work with that dynamic, than to resist and attempt to control.

Some things we don’t quite know 🙂

Leo New Moon

Lola with the Leo New Moon
Lola with her Leo New Moon

Wednesday the 3rd of August bears the gift of a New Moon in Leo… Regal, inclusive, generous, fun and warm, Leo contains our inner performance, the part of us that craves an adoring audience, applause, bouquets, standing ovations…

Low-road Leo evokes desperate neediness, relentless demands for appreciation and the royal treatment, and petulant poutiness and dramatic displays of dissatisfaction when these ceaseless expectations aren’t met.

But a high-road Leo energy is fabulous marvellous glorious, warm and encouraging like the Sun’s rays. Where we embrace the part of our psyche that gratefully accepts appreciation we each become a little more special. We are nurturing the small child within that might not have enjoyed the spoils of undivided parental adoration.

This New Moon is in square aspect to Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, trine Saturn in Sagittarius and quincunx the Neptune~South Node conjunction in Pisces.

Black Moon Lilith’s continuing journey through Scorpio is a reminder to us all of the dark feminine that dwells deep within our consciousness. So often this energy appears dormant, a latency that holds power and self-assuredness. When we are able to integrate this strength we become less needy, expressing ourselves without an inbuilt need for kudos and praise.

Saturn demands our integrity, a willingness to accept personal responsibility for our own consciousness and the ways in which we allow it to manifest. While Leo’s need to perform is valid, Saturn reminds us that we must aim to do so with dignity and poise. As the Moon is New we might re-commit to our self-expression in ways that honour our personal need for attention with mindful respect for others.

Within the Leo New Moon’s uneasy aspect to the Lunar South Node~Neptune conjunction we encounter an inner propensity to look back with nostalgic rose-tinted glasses. Whilst an ability to find gratitude, compassion and forgiveness in retrospect can be liberating, healing and transformational, we must be aware of the dangers of repetitive behaviours that damage us. The South Node describes a past that has hurt us, and our consciousness now benefits from awareness of low-road Piscean urges (escapism in all its forms).

As we greet the new Moon cycle we invite our Inner Child to revel in creative expression. Conjure a future that stirs your soul. Even if it is a mere daydream, a cloudy image in your mind’s eye, as the Moon renews this month indulge your joyful Self, grant yourself permission to imagine, play and create with abandon, just for fun…

Saturn square Neptune

The 270° square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces (both currently retrograde) has been in play since late 2015. As one of the dominant astrological themes of 2016 it deserves its own post.

Saturn is the wise elder of our solar system ~ paternal pragmatic mature responsible ~ he brings a dose of reality to whatsoever he contacts, setting boundaries, limits and slowing things down. It can be quite abrupt and even depressing as we come to terms with the Saturnian facts.

Neptune is the mystic ~ dreamy spiritual elusive transcendental ~ it’s subtle vibration often goes unnoticed as we are so busy with our “real world” concerns. But without Neptune life is lacking. We humans are connected to our spirit source, and something in us knows it = Neptune

When these two vastly different planetary influences meet this way, the energy is palpable. The square aspect brings friction and agitation regardless of the players involved. In this case the two signs involved are mutable (adaptable and comfortable with change), but Sagittarius is Yang fire and Pisces is Yin water. Sag wants freedom to explore understand expand and philosophise, while Pisces yearns to return to oneness, connecting with something larger than itself.

The distinctions are important, providing balance when the contact is made. Neptune knows no bounds ~ it can be chaotic lawless and anarchic. By contrast, Saturn is boundaries ~ limiting and restrained. Saturn’s realism and structure will temper Neptune’s fantastical visions and daydreams, helping us to bring them closer to manifestation. Saturn reminds us of the need to work ~ show up and make real tangible effort in pursuit of the heights that Neptune inspires.

Aspects are always seeking integration ~ as two planets come into contact we on Earth experience conflicting yearnings and can make effort to assimilate these in creative ways. Can we amalgamate chaos with order?

Inner work and spiritual practice are meaningful ways that we can make use of this moving square. Neptune represents spirituality and the unconscious, while Saturn symbolises work and practice ~ walking our talk.

Where we are unable or unwilling to consciously assimilate these energies we might find ourselves waking with a hangover, perhaps in both the metaphorical and the all-too-real-world head-thumping sense. As we mindlessly ramble on down Neptune’s slippery and treacherous low-road, allowing ourselves to be tempted time and again by the urge to temporarily escape reality, this year’s astroscape points to the folly of persistently choosing this well-worn path, strewn with lost shoes (glass slippers?), beer bottles, littered ciggie butts and polaroids of long-forgotten moments once considered unforgettable.

I wish not to be a killjoy. A well-lived and happy life must surely be filled with joy, laughter, good friends, and be punctuated with celebratory indulgence. But we cannot fool ourselves forever that such indulgences are necessary on the first Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday et al of each week, can we? And how much joy do we really find in these chemical-fuelled moments? Do the inevitable consequences feel disproportionate to the pleasures we sought the night before? How long can we claim debaucherous shenanigans to be an immersion in illuminating new experiences?

Twenty-sixteen poses these uncomfortable questions.

DSCF1601

Can we allow the well-lit clearly sign-posted boundaries of Saturn to guide our return to more authentic and transcendent Neptunian destinies?

Saturn in Sagittarius implores us to seek our own truth. For most of us, that truth cannot be found at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, or in the smokey blur of stoner-dom, or in the disturbingly repetitious thoughts of a meth habit. The truth is that we use drugs to change the ways think feel and behave.  But frequent drug use creates many more problems than it can ever solve.

To every thing there is a season. I am not arguing for nanny-state laws of prohibition, or self-imposed blanket bans that lead us away from whole-hearted living. We are human beings, blessed with conscious minds with which we are able to make discerning choices. There are certainly moments in life where a given substance can enhance an experience. But the key is to make decisions guided by an inner compass oriented toward our highest good. To weigh our options mindfully, then accept the consequences.

Just as Saturn aims to balance Neptune, Neptune seeks to inspire the stoic straight-laced Saturn ~ urging us to find commonality with our fellows, to develop compassion, to go with the flow and enjoy the moments in life that are all so fleeting.  Neptune reminds us to nourish the part of us that knows we are connected to something greater than ourselves. Inviting us inwards, to the silent still portal of divine experience. Measures of Saturnian success and status have no place here.

I have noticed that sometimes, among communities of spiritual people egos run rampant in ways that eclipse more traditional egoic arenas, such as perhaps the business world, medicine or show biz. It seems that the more time one spends devoted to practices intended to evolve consciousness but that are depleted in their value by their use as a tool of ego enhancement, the more points one is awarded in some spiritualist prizefight. To maintain an appearance of detachment in the face of life’s most challenging emotional upheavals is valued above authenticity and vulnerability. This feels to me to be another misled manifestation of the Saturn Neptune square. The application of Saturn’s ego boundaries to Neptune’s realm of mystery.

Saturn always demands integrity. Neptune inspires communion with the divine. No one can know the inner life of another. Despite low-road Saturn in Sagittarius’ insistent sermonising, God is not some abstract dogmatic conceptual doctrine found exclusively within the walls of a cathedral, ashram, chapel, synagogue or mosque. God is alive, dynamic, evolving, omnipresent, experiential, infinite love, found in the hearts of the incarcerated and indoctrinated alike, in badly lit shopping malls and magnificent sweeping landscapes…

DSCF0181
View from atop Sacre Coeur, Montmartre

In everyone

and everything

every atom of this expanding universe

Saturn+Neptune ~ one without the other and we are lost, either in the grey board room of conformity, or the technicolour haze of delusion

Capricorn Full Moon

IMG_0450
Shot Tower, in the rain. Taroona, near Hobart, Tasmania

The Full Moon in Capricorn occurs at 6.57am (AWST) on Wednesday the 20th of July. Capricorn the Sea~Goat symbolises responsibility, duty, maturity, discipline, wisdom and limitations. A cardinal earth sign, Capricorn initiates efforts towards the creation of material security.

At the opposing end of this axis is Cancer ~ the archetypal Mother; Capricorn is the archetypal Father ~ paternal reliable consistent firm sometimes a little rigid but seeking to guide us towards success status stability. Capricorn’s orderly approach supports us in the establishment of solid foundations upon which we may build a future that aligns with our high ideals.

The planetary ruler of this Capricorn lunation is Saturn, which remains in square aspect to Neptune, the Lunar Nodes and Jupiter. As we aspire and work towards our dreams, or process moments~times~events passed, Saturn patiently, persistently reminds us of our boundaries. Regardless of our attitude towards them, we must work within these limits. And for so long as we shirk our responsibilities we will not get far. Saturn insists upon integrity and accountability.

As this Full Moon light is reflected upon us all we find illuminated the duties we had overlooked. Are we stubbornly resisting lessons that implore us to bow in humility? Are we getting in our own way? On closer inspection can we accept more personal responsibility for the roles we play in life’s challenges and dysfunction?

In so doing, we are empowered, as we can truly change none other than ourselves. And as we recognise ways in which we have contributed to our own defeats, we find ways that we can do-over, more effective than before.

Sometimes life slows us down, and we feel stifled and frustrated, wondering whether we’ve chosen the wrong path or kidded ourselves in some way. The intensity of the Mars retrograde (coincident with five other planets in their retrograde phases also ~ AKA retrograde season) has left many of us feeling defeated and doubtful but as Mars’ direct motion picks up speed this Full Moon will assist us to see things that were invisible before this slowing down phase.

The delays that appeared to be mere inconvenient setbacks and impediments later prove to serve us well. When we take what we’ve learned in reflection we improve our attitude and our perspective is renewed, with more wisdom and confidence we now go forth.

This Full Moon also aspects Uranus the Awakener. Known for its disruptive and unpredictable influence (so different to Saturn), we can expect the unexpected. Uranus in turn aspects Mars in an uncomfortable but potentially rewarding interaction. For best results, we might channel this volatility into movement and creativity, lest we allow the energy to manifest unconsciously and impel us into circumstances less positive.

Life rarely unfolds as we expect it to, but always leads us to where we can, if we so choose, benefit in ways we could not have foreseen.

“Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover, life gives us something that we could hardly imagine” Marcel Proust.

Cancer the Crab New Moon

IMG_4350 The fourth of July heralds the New Moon in Cancer for 2016. Cancer the Crab is ruled by the Moon so it is always a special time ~ the extremes of winter (or summer) are upon us and we embrace all the joys and challenges of the season.

Cancer symbolises the Mother. We have all gestated within our mother’s womb, thus the mother is a strong archetype for each of us. She symbolises comfort home nurturing safety acceptance. The concept of the mother may not be met by our experience of being mothered, nor by our experience of being a mother. There are discrepancies between the fantasy and the reality. None of us is perfect. None of us were raised perfectly. The best we can hope for is more positive than negative memories (a la Disney animated film Inside Out) that result in patterns that support and encourage rather than inhibit and stymie our growth and happiness.

No matter how we have been mothered in our lives we are grown up now. We are responsible now for our own lives and our own feelings and the ways in which we manage these. Cancer teaches us self-containment. Cancer asks that we honour our feelings, to know the wisdom that they bring.

So we don’t hide within a spiky shell behind aggressively defensive pincers, stubbornly refusing to engage with the world lest our soft innards are exposed and injured. Equally we seek not to become overwhelmed by emotion ~ narcissistic nostalgia and a sentimentality that detracts from the deep knowing of feeling

Feeling as a living dynamic experience that can be accessed

in this moment alone

Our feelings differ to our emotions. An emotional response is an activated complex ~ an old patterned reaction to what is really a unique moment in time. Emotion holds meaning and important information too, but in a way that pertains to the past. We can use our emotions to better understand complexes and unconscious unprocessed stuff from our past.

Feelings are now, providing us with a new perception of our individual and dynamic experience of life as it evolves.

As we grow and develop through infancy childhood adolescence we build an understanding of life and our place in it primarily through our experience with family. Despite best efforts and intentions of our caregivers, none come through this process unscathed. To the extent that we have perceived an experience of disapproval or inferiority (or any number of other childhood encumbrances) we unconsciously seek to appease these uneasy emotions into our adult lives.

Sometimes we unwittingly place expectations on others to meet needs that are our responsibility. We are looking to be comforted by the archetypal mother. But as we look to the outside world, to our own mothers even, we will be disappointed. We need to learn to mother ourselves ~ to self-soothe, nurture our own vulnerability, heal the source of and transform our own pain.

Cancer the Crab is soft and sensitive beneath a protective exterior ~ highly attuned to the changes occurring all around ~ the shifts in energy ~ the moods and vibrations ~ and we each have an innate ability to access this subtle feeling-based reality. Far from indulgent wallowing in self-pity, the high-road Crab detects nuances and subtleties with a quiet perceptiveness that lends itself to empathy and wisdom.

With the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus journeying through Cancer we can all practice becoming our own Inner Mother. Lovingly accept the feelings and emotions that emerge, offering space and gentle kindness to allow the deeper wisdom to follow, and follow it will. This New Moon harmonises with the Moon’s Nodal Axis involving Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, supporting our healing from the past and pursuit of a bright future. As we open ourselves up to the changing times, we are ourselves transforming and creating, a world that so needs the unconditional love of a mother.

Sagittarius Blue Moon

Twenty-sixteen’s second Sagittarius Full Moon (AKA Blue Moon) on Monday the 20th of June is again lorded over by Jupiter ~ jovial King of the Gods ~ merging with the Lunar North Node at 15° Virgo.

Jupiter enhances and expands all it comes into contact with, and has a reputation as a harbinger of glad tidings. The North Node reveals our path towards evolution, both personally and collectively. As Jupiter and the North Node fuse energies we are bestowed with a special kind of Full Moon blessing: if we are open, receptive and awake we glimpse our potentiality and plant a seed of optimism, faith and audacity.

Virgo is often associated with the pursuit of perfection ~ perfectionism. Research professor and self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist Brene Brown describes perfectionism as “a hustle… a never-ending performance… an addictive and self-destructive form of shame” (2012). Virgo also teaches us discernment, in this case between perfectionism and striving for excellence ~ we re-learn the lessons we try to teach our children about aspiration, application, effort until at some point we arrive at good enough ~ not resignation but acceptance that we have done our best, and that is enough.

perfection is in the realm of the divine ~ gods&goddesses

The masculine goal-oriented patriarchy in which we live has us convinced that if only we try harder we can attain elusive perfection, but this belief is deluded and illusory, driving us ever-closer to exhaustion and despair. To re-connect with our feminine receptivity restores the balance (and our sanity) with acceptance and surrender.

The best we human beings can aim for is wholeness

To make efforts to live with integrity and in alignment with simple virtues (kindness compassion forgiveness humility) is noble and wise. Sagittarius urges us to abide by a higher power that guides us with morals and ethics, so we accept our fallibility, aim to improve, learn from our mistakes. But we cannot be perfect. We are fundamentally flawed. We are wounded. We are broken.

“there’s a crack in everything ~ that’s how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen

We aspire to evolve but not to the detriment of our wholeness. We must respect and honour both our light and our darkness, because attempts to deny and ignore do not make them go away. Our fragmented aspects lay in wait in the shadows of our psyche, stewing in rejection, until an opportunity presents for them to manifest. Perhaps as road rage, or drunken debauchery, or acts of violence, or sickness and suffering. Like a misbehaving child, the unconscious seeks our attention and usually demands it at inconvenient times and in embarrassing ways. To actively engage in a process of individuation feels to me to be a liberating and rewarding alternative. Preferable to unleashing one’s demons on a joyfully unsuspecting crowd in a nightclub; preferable to scapegoating others with our own projected shadows.

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Inside Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

With the Sun (opposite the Moon) in the critical degree of Gemini, Mercury’s role in the still active Grand Mutable Cross is significant. At home in Gemini, Mercury can be functioning well as a curious data hunter/gatherer, or poorly as one who is overloaded with information and refusing to hear new perspectives. Beyond Gemini’s accumulation of apparently random and unassimilated intelligence, Sagittarius brings all the pertinent information together and says

“I understand”

Instead of perceiving life as impossibly absurd and cruelly capricious there is meaning behind any and all of our human experience ~ a light in the darkness. Rather than allow ourselves to be swept up in enmity against the “enemy”, we need only make space for love and change.

We simply abide ~ in joy, reverence, respect, wonder and awe, trusting that, despite the atrocities, we have reason to hope.

 

Brown, B. (2012) Daring Greatly: how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. Penguin, London.

Gemini New Moon

IMG_0821
Twin telephones in Ross, Tasmania

In between two Sagittarian Full Moons, Sunday 11AM (AWST) we find ourselves at the Gemini New Moon for 2016. The Gemini~Sagittarius axis is about collating information and experience in order to formulate a meaningful perspective of life. Gemini is the inquisitive student ~ learning, thinking, listening, understanding, talking, debating ~ to make sense of the immediate environment Gemini assimilates vast stores of information… with the potential for TMI-overload a real possibility. Near-sightedness can limit Gemini to living above the neck ~ think think thinking…

The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon~Sun~Venus in Gemini is two Dutch children talking ~ thus a mutual sharing of ideas and opinions ideally supports our growth as we learn new things and hear differing viewpoints. This can be particularly expansive when we feel instinctive resistance to an other’s expression of truth, but allow space to pause and consider before closing our minds~hearts~ears.

Mercury’s Sabian Symbol is interesting to note also, as Mercury rules Gemini and hence this New Moon. A finger pointing in an open book denotes rectification as we uncover new information that deepens our understanding, or corrects our misunderstanding. Guidance is implied by this symbol too, suggesting that a willingness to be receptive and open benefits us as we reorientate to go forward.

Gemini is symbolised by the twins ~ duality ~ our dual natures comprise complex and paradoxical aspects that mostly dwell in our unconscious…

feminine & masculine

light & shadow

duty & desire

heart & mind

within & without

good & evil

divine & earthly

life & death

So often, we find ourselves “in two minds” about something, torn between conflicting perspectives: part of us wants this, and the other part wants that, and we are genuine in our confusion and polarity. Can we find ways to balance the needs of different aspects of our psyche? Must we always choose black or white, disappointing one half of who we are? Or can we learn to love grey ~ blending our inconsistencies? Can we create a third option?

The evolutionary path asks that we immerse ourselves in duality, for it is our knowledge that we are separated from the source that allows our consciousness to grow. Were humanity to have remained “at one” with our surroundings, our evolution would be limited to that of the animal kingdom. The innate wisdom of our fellow creatures is great, more often seemingly greater than our own, because they are aligned with all that is. Our challenge however, is distinct: to return to oneness we must journey through the fires of polarity ~ fully engaged in human experience.

This Gemini New Moon occurs in conjunction with Venus, and as part of a Grand Mutable Cross… Jupiter in Virgo ~ Saturn in Sagittarius ~ Neptune in Pisces. Too, the Grand Earth Trine remains and offers some groundedness to the cosmic vibes. Thus we are blessed with adaptability and discipline, discernment and vision. Our Venusian muse can inspire us in setting intent that recognises our polar nature, allows for our contradictoriness, loves us because we are conflicted and confused.

Versatility, resilience and flexibility are key to successfully navigating the astroscape of the coming weeks ~ cultivate the adaptability of the shapeshifting Mutable signs ~ welcome change ♥

“God help us to change. To change ourselves and to change the world. To know the need for it. To deal with the pain of it. To feel the joy of it. To undertake the journey without understanding the destination. The art of gentle revolution. Amen” Michael Leunig

Black Moon Lilith

The dark feminine is one very punished~banished archetypal figure in our human psyche, often relegated to the shadow because we have forgotten how to handle our strong female energy. Even in these liberated contemporary times, she continues to be shunned, condemned, reviled, blamed, rejected, neglected, vilified, renounced, demonised and hated: the Witch Hunt continues.

We owe much to the feminist movement, but it seems perhaps the quest to be deemed mens’ equals was misguided? Now it seems women have fought successfully for the right to do everything men can, so now we have little choice. We have accepted that we must meet the needs of the patriarchy ~ the perfect projection of the Goddess upon our mere mortality ~ now we must work, home-make, child-rear, and in the words of Usher: be a lady in the street and a freak in the bed, and still be underpaid!

Our primeval roles ~ mother nurturer healer wild woman magus mystic witch whore ~ suffered at the hands of the patriarchy so that womens’ natural abilities became worthless, in a world that prizes achievement aggression action ambition advancement above all else. Many thousands of women who refused to renounce their gifts and artistry paid a hefty price ~ burning at the stake a welcome relief after suffering through much cruelty.

With this uprising of the Church and the denial of Pagan nature worship women became viewed as either evil demonesses or weak/meek victims: mere burdens men must bear in order to prolong lineage. We were (are) none of these, but rather the courageous and strong receptacles of ancient Goddess knowledge. A wisdom so deep dark mysterious and inconstant that the masculine cannot contain it by force, or define it with reason, or control it, thus we fear it.

For a long time, I’ve pondered the dark feminine. I have contemplated and meditated, working towards conscious integration of this most powerful energy that resides within me, and each of us, men and women alike. Astrologically, we can look to Black Moon Lilith (a mathematical point, not a celestial body) to help us understand ways in which this energy is expressed (or repressed) in our own psyches.

Black Moon Lilith has completed her nine month journey through Libra, and can be found now (until February 2017) in the sign of Scorpio ~ well matched energies we can surmise, with Scorpio symbolic of the dark Yin Plutonian underworld. My natal Lilith lives in Scorpio too, so as my BML Return looms large on my horizon, I wonder what she has in store for me, and others born between January and October 1981?

Mythologically, Lilith was demonised by the patriarchy for her wilful independence as she, despite heinous blackmail attempts involving perpetual losses of sacrificial progeny, preferred her freedom to cavort with demons and devils on the shores of the Red Sea than to play second fiddle to Adam in Eden. Thus, Adam had a new and satisfactorily subservient bride fashioned from one of his ribs ~ enter the agreeable Eve.

In her refusal to bow before the masculine, and thereby compromise on her principles, Lilith had no choice but to leave, exiled but integrity intact. She is simultaneously sorrowful and fierce: mourning the daily loss of her own children, and her place in Eden as a rightful equal to Adam, she blazed her own lonely trail, belonging to no one. She returned later with a vengeance, disguised as a serpent, convincing Eve to tempt Adam into sinful relations. Rebellious? Perhaps. Defiant? Indeed. Righteous..?

Can we not all do with some Lilith fire in our bellies?

As an archetypal figure she remains largely dissociated from our personal and collective consciousness’. Apart from the angry feminists that have gone to the other end of the spectrum and identified with the disenfranchised feminine so extremely they hurt their cause (not to mention themselves!) in attempts to correct the imbalance between male~female. The rest of us prefer denial, and projection of our inner Lilith upon all those other crazy bitches out there.

Herein lies our mistake: Lilith exists within us all. It is convenient to scapegoat the most difficult women we know and label them mad imbalanced deranged demanding irrational hormonal hysterical et al because it frightens and disgusts us to think that we are capable of the very same behaviours. Men especially struggle to accept the gorgon when she is unleashed, and often react with stoney disengagement that further riles the woman’s shadow.

IMG_0677“Lilith appears in our daily life when we find ourselves in those situations where we are not free to express ourselves, nor valued for our wisdom. Prevented from acting, moving, choosing and determining our life circumstances. We may feel forced to obey others against our own better judgement, and pressured to suppress qualities that others find unacceptable and threatening” (George, 1992, p.188).

Lilith in Scorpio can be a time of reconciling with Lilith, as we recognise our capacity for rage that is vile and extreme. The release of accumulated repressed anger (often expressed in explosive ways) allows us to examine our feelings. An opportunity for integration of this new found self-knowledge presents at such a time, as Lilith tries to free us from pretences. But too often we relent to feelings of humiliation and shame, and retreat to status quo. The violence we have exhibited leaves us remorseful as we have exposed this vulnerability and frightened ourselves with the power we possess. If we are brave, we might be able to face the shadow of Lilith, and hear her message. From here we begin to heal, and invite conscious and creative expression of Lilith power into our lives.

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” C.G.Jung

 

George, D. (1992) Mysteries of the Dark Moon, Harper Collins, New York City.